By David Wilder
Over the past few days I’ve seen numerous articles, effectively open letters to Obama, suggesting courses of action while he is here in Israel. I believe it much more important not to advise the president, but rather to speak to Israeli leaders, those now holding the reins of power in our country.
Most groups that I guide here in Hebron visit, among other places, the museum in Beit Hadassah. This site allows people to receive, over a few minutes, a comprehensive education about the history of Jewish Hebron over hundreds of years.
One of the most emotional places in the museum is the memorial room, dedicated to the memory of 67 Jews slaughtered in Hebron during the riots in August 1929. In words and photos, people can understand in a relatively short time the background of the atrocities committed by their next-door neighbors, and the later consequences.
A day before the beginning of the massacre, on Thursday, August 22, a group of Jews belonging to the Hagana, the Jewish defense organization, visited Hebron and met with the Jewish community leaders. They offered them weapons, saying that Mufti Haj Amin el Husseini was inciting and trouble was about to erupt. Hebron’s Jews refused to take the weapons, explaining that they would only act as a provocation, that they’d already met with the city’s Arab leadership, who had promised to protect them. As a result, when rioting commenced the next day, they had no means of protection. The results are history.
Upon conclusion of this explanation, I express two thoughts to my audience: First, during the Six Day War in 1967, when the Israelis arrived in Hebron, Israel was not conquering and occupying a foreign city. Rather, they had come home. And second, we must be able to protect ourselves. Not only on an individual basis, but on a national level. When Israel puts its security in the hands of others, the only thing we receive in return is dead Jews. Oslo left Israeli security with Arafat. The result: some 2,000 people killed by Arab terror. Israel abandoned Gaza to the Arabs and has paid a price of some 13,000 rockets and missiles shot into Israel from the land we gave them.
These are the same two thoughts that Israeli leaders must recite to themselves, as well as to their guests, in the coming days. Israel is our homeland. Hebron is the heart of Israel. Beit El is the path via which the Patriarch Abraham toured our land and was literally a stairway to Heaven. Shilo was home to our most sacred sanctuary for hundreds of years. And, of course, Jerusalem is our eternal capital.
Israel is facing a seemingly lethal threat from Iran. Syrian weapons of mass destruction may fall into the hands of Hezbollah and Hamas. We cannot and must not allow responsibility for our security to be in the hands of anyone else but ourselves. Not at any time. But certainly not when the man who is President of the United States’ middle name is Hussein.
While speaking of “settlements” in Judea and Samaria, while discussing Jerusalem and the other holy cities in our Land, our leaders can pose simple questions to Obama and Kerry: “Would you, in return for a peace accord with Al Qaeda, give them Boston or Philadelphia? Would you grant them total autonomy or sovereignty in a section of Washington DC?”
And while discussing Syria’s chemical weapons, and Iran’s nuclear weapons program, “would you allow Canada to decide if and when the United States should attack and destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons’ facilities?”
Rafael Medoff, in an op-ed piece titled “Obama, FDR, and Zionism” in a recent Jerusalem Post, basically expresses the bottom line:
“By 1942, FDR was so averse to being seen as pro-Zionist that he rejected even a request to permit the Palestine (Jewish) Symphony Orchestra to name one of its theaters the ‘Roosevelt Amphitheatre.’ . . .
“‘[We] asked the President about refugees, the White Paper, etc. What he proposed to do about these things. [We] made a number of suggestions to him as to what [we] thought he ought to do and the answer to all of these suggestions was “No.”’ . . .
“David Niles, a close adviser to FDR, once remarked that if Roosevelt had lived (and thus Harry Truman remained vice-president), he probably would not have supported the creation of Israel, and as a result the Jewish state might never have been established.”
This was the “almighty FDR,” who, in 1933 said, ‘The German authorities are treating the Jews shamefully and the Jews in this country are greatly excited. But this is also not a governmental affair. We can do nothing except for American citizens who happen to be made victims.”
And what about the “almighty BHO”? How will he be quoted 50 or 60 years from now? “I really was very sorry, but there wasn’t anything we could do, it was too late . . .”
The answer, clearly, is to make sure he understands, in no uncertain terms, that Israel is our country, our land. It’s not for sale, none of it, at any price. And we will make sure it stays that way, that it stays safe, at any price. Period.” v